Belize receives almost US$3.5 million from the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) in Grants and Loans

Belize

Bridgetown, February 18, 2011: Belize is scheduled to sign the first CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) Country Assistance Programme (CAP) valued at US$3,475,000. The Belize Prime Minster, The Hon. Dean Barrow and the Chief Executive Officer of the CDF, Ambassador Lorne McDonnough are expected to sign the CAP in Belize on Monday 21st February 2011. This is the first tangible intervention by the CDF as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) institution created to address dislocations emanating from the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

There are three components to the CDF’s assistance to Belize; it includes a concessionary loan with a grant component and two separate grant components. The assistance is aimed at supporting the development of the private sector, raise the capacity of the Government and the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to better manage projects and promote the business application of green technology.

The concessionary loan of US$3.0 million to be executed by the DFC, is offered at a nominal rate of 3.0 percent per annum for fifteen years with a grace period of two years. The US$475,000 in grants, includes US$200,000 of resources contributed by the Government of Finland. The grants are intended to upgrade the DFC system for loan appraisals and promote the utilization of green technologies in production as well as for Beltraide to provide technical assistance to develop and implement a policy for the Medium and Small Enterprises sector. The Ministry of Economic Planning will also benefit from some of the grant resources to implement an electronic management information system for the public sector investment programme.

This assistance is significant since Belize, a Less Developed Country (LDC) of CARICOM situated in Central America, is receiving the first CAP underscoring CARICOM’s commitment to deepen integration with all Members regardless of the challenges. In addition, this CAP represents the tangible collaboration of the CDF with an International Development Partner for regional development.

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